After the evidence, the real truth

Tue, 23 Jul 2013 Source: Casely-Hayford, Sydney

Cape Coast city center stinks. Once the Crown Capital, the roads surrounding and between Kotokraba market carry a putrid smell of rotten debris and fish commingled with body smells and heat that does not easily welcome the sensitive tourist.

The travel to Cape Coast is still an excellent one and commonsense driving (except for Mankessim) makes it easy and incident free, until the directionless city and stench hit you and the roads fail to impress. Poverty engulfs you in Cape Coast. It is unfortunate and it is sad, because it has all the trappings of the best tourism in Ghana. However, it does not compete with the rot yet to be made public from the GYEEDA report suppressed by Government, contrary to what we heard when the commission of enquiry was set up.

Also totally contrary to the Government that pledges an open and transparent dialogue with the citizens of Ghana. From what I know about GYEEDA, the corruption runs deeper than this Government will ever reveal. The key ministry responsible was Youth and Sports. Akua Sena Dansua, Rashid Pelpuo and Kofi Humado each at different times as Ministers, signed these contracts without much oversight.

Most of these contracts are yet to be executed and the sums of money involved are clear. The GYEEDA modules are not sophisticated. Actually they are rather frivolous and clear mechanisms to siphon money from other funds for other purposes. The Mahama Government is most complicit in this. They either knew or were a part of the schemes or they did not, which is even worse, because it was right under their nose, within their own Ministries.

Both Deputy Ministers of Finance Seth Terkper and Fifi Kwetey as well as the Central Bank Governor were all part of and are all still in this Government. The Civil Service structure is still in place and they know what went down. Former Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor is pretending he is out of Government and thus had nothing to do with anything, praying none ask him a question. But we are going to go there, just as we are going to look at LESDEP, YESDEC, Beach Brigade and many other social protection schemes not accounted for. And whilst I am here, let me say that there is also a GHS 552million discrepancy in Government’s accounting that has not been explained.

The evidence part of the Election Petition was completed and Pastor Mensah Otabil raised concerns that his heart is heavy with impending disaster. This is so Christian pronouncement that I hesitate to be anything less than frank about the way I see this call to prayers and fasting commandeering the moment for religious immersion. Otabil has hijacked our souls and minds and supplanted a doomsday icon in which we have no choice than to pray for divine lifting of his feeling of crisis, else the country perish in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision.

Akin to Jesus Christ’s egression on Gethsemane, whence he came to die that all can be forgiven, I find this stroke of Christian intercession most arrogant. That we must pray and fast in order to relieve Mensah Otabil of this burden of fate is a problem for me, since the only yardstick we have for successful intervention is when the Chief Pastor decides that we have done sufficient to avert the doom on our doorstep.

This is too much like sorcery, takes me back to my youth days when I read Merlin the Magician at King Arthur’s Round Table and Hobbits, Gnomes and Fairies ruled my world and sleep.

What can the loser of the election do in the circumstances? Call for their followers to troop with them to another land? Call to arms all those who believe and follow the principles of Social Democracy or Property Owning democracy? That foot soldiers from either side will up in arms and batons and rampage the streets of Accra destroying all in sight and battering anyone who is not part of their crusade? Or will they hijack Parliament, seize the staff of office of the President and refuse anyone entry to the institutions of democracy?

I fail to see what this doomsday catastrophe is all about. We formed a Peace Council, created a platform for resolution through the Supreme Court and yet still we are clamoring for headlines, disturbing the rhythm in our society.

Who are these persons who portend to rebel if their party loses? The NDC can lose in two instances. If JDM is asked to step down, or if there is a re-vote. The second scenario implies some fiddling of numbers and splices the EC and NDC in complicity.

But both Nana Addo and John Mahama are peace-loving persons. I have not heard or seen anything done by either one that implies they will support a violent rebellion. The “all die be die” label was a good political campaign counter-fight for electioneering and it was used effectively against the NPP, but Nana Addo was not going to call people to arms and he has demonstrated this, by taking his case to court.

We (Ghanaians) have forced both leaders at different times to declare they will accept the verdict of the court and ask their supporters to shore up the verdict. They have done so.

If we are running another round of peace mongering, does it mean the “Peace Mongers” do not have an iota of faith in their (Nana Addo and JDM) peace pledges and control over their followers? Was it for nothing that we went and staged a performance with the Asantehene and other leaders, but after seven months of the Court hearing when all Ghana has had a chance to listen, we now doubt the sincerity of the two leaders?

Nana and JDM should feel slighted by all this.

Especially when JJ and JAK have both added their voices to the call for peace, asking various deities to give the Judges the wisdom to make the right decision. Both leaders accused each other of rigging elections when they were vying for votes; could it be they have reformed?

Well, one person’s right decision is another’s four-year gloom and wait. Which of the right decisions is Jerry asking for and which is JAK asking for? In prayer, everyone asks selfishly of their God that they be rewarded with munificence that they might gain and be better endowed after the blessing.

Verily we say, “Lord if it be thy wish ….”, but what I really want is for MY WISH TO BE GRANTED. JDM asked Moslems to pray and fast very well during Ramadan and tasked that the Judges be with wisdom to make the right decision. I am sure he was not asking for that decision to go against him.

Our Judges have spent all their lives doing this very same independent evidence gathering and arbitrating. They are on the bench after decades of experience and knowledge, chasing their lifelong ambition to leave a mark in their chosen profession. If they lean to one side or the other in politics, it will be their humanity. But we are asking them to make this decision as objectively as possible.

Ladling them prayers and divine wisdom, is telling them to mind Judas’ silver pieces, which in this world could rest in the bosom of an offshore account.

I find these peace calls a diversionary insecurity by the religious majority and a breach of confidence in appointed Judges to bare their best in their chosen field.

How do you determine that a ruling is unbiased when it does not go in your favor? “decision, decision, decision in the air, whose side will the coin favor?"

So finally, I arrived in Cape Coast at the newly opened Hayford Lounge and Bar in the center of town on Jackson Street near the GLO offices. Cousin Victor celebrated a milestone birthday with a view over the quiet streets and market and together with Tara, Ben and William, we bound family ties with tireless Utah our cornerstone in the house.

When you next visit Cape Coast, stop over, you will be served serenely with some of the best food ever.

And we have two real truths to unravel. The truth behind the vote count and the truth behind Government spending in 2012.

Counsel addresses to the Court by 30th July and the bench decides 15 days or less after this. There is a right to appeal, but woe betides they who opt to go there. Roll on to mid, end August? Oh yes, the IEA pressed a state of affairs on the economy. It has all been said before.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney